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(THE RIGHT OF TRANSLATION IS RESERVED.)
250. E. 234
IT MAY BE TRUE.
NEWS FROM HOME
“ The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
Are strong as iron bands.
His face is like the tan;
He earns whate'er he can;
It was just sunset as Matthew the pikeman went out to receive toll from some one passing, or rather coming quickly up to the gate.
It was market day at Brampton, so Matthew had to keep his ears open, and his wits about him, for generally he had a lazy post, with scarcely half a dozen calls during the day.
A spare thin man was the occupier of the light cart now coming fast along the road; who as he drew near the gate threw the pence—without slackening his horse's pace—at least a foot from where the other was standing.
“There's manners for you !" said Matthew, stooping to look for the money, “chucks the ha’pence to me as though I was a thief. Hates parting with 'em, I 'spose.”
“Or hates touching you with the ends of his fingers," said a voice at his side.
“Good evening to yer, Mrs. Grey,” said he, civilly rising and looking up, “Well, I'm blessed if I can find that last penny,” and he counted over again those he held in his hand, “I'll make him give me another, next time I sets eyes on him, I know.”
“ What's this?” said Goody Grey, turning something over with her stick.
“ That's it, and no mistake. Why I'd back yer to see through a brick wall, Ma'am.”
66 There !” said she, not heeding his last remark, and pointing out the cart going slowly up a neighbouring hill, “ he's too proud to shake hands with his betters, now. Pride, all pride, upstart pride, like the rest of the fools in this world. And he used to go gleaning in the very fields he now rides over so pompously.”
“ Can yer call that to mind, Mrs. Grey ?” asked Matthew, egeing her keenly and searchingly. “Call it to mind! What's that to you?
I never said I could, but I know it for a truth."
“ Folks say there's few things yer don't know," replied Matthew, somewhat scared at her fierce tone.
"Folks are fools !”
“ Some of 'em ; not all. Most say yer knows everything, and can give philters and charms for sickness and heart-ache and the like."
“ Folks are fools !" repeated she again.
“ Well I know nothing, nor don't want to; but,” said he, dropping his voice to a whisper, "if yer could only give me a charm to keep her tongue quiet,” and he pointed with his thumb